Sunday, September 14, 2008

Aggie's Food and Football Days- His and Hers' Nachos and Red Velvet UGA Cupcakes 2 ways, with Fluffy Meringue or Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

This is my entry to Aggie's Food and Football Days event. I made one of my husbands favorite things to eat while he watches the game, featuring our Georgia Bulldogs!

I try to serve my family healthy dinners, but my husband would be happier eating the way that he wants too. That is why I decided to make him the Nachos of his dreams and decided I was going to have to make 2 kinds, because our nacho dreams are very different.

So, here I go with my stereotype. I made 2 kinds of nachos, his and hers. You might disagree with me and maybe it is different in your family, but this is how it works in ours. Above, are HIS (a little less healthy) nachos-ground sirloin, seasoned with spices, jalapenos, black olives, and a melty cheese sauce (I usually use a nice white, Mexican melting cheese, but after searching every grocery store in town and even making a special trip to a bunch of authentic stores, with no luck,) I settled for Velveeta mixed with salsa. HER nachos are below- multigrain tortilla chips with flaxseeds and seasoned with sea salt, spicy blue corn chips, refried beans, pinto and black beans, red and green pepper, tomato, and shredded cheese- popped under the broiler.

Now on to our team. My husband was born and raised right outside of Athens, Georgia. I grew up in Utah. I was lucky enough to finish up my degree at UGA. College Football is a different experience down in Athens. I had never seen anything like it. The tailgating, the clothes, the millions of people that are everywhere. You can't understand it until you experience it. It blew me away. We are diehard University of Georgia Bulldog fans. (GO DAWGS!)

So, in honor of the red and black, I decided to make red velvet cupcakes. I did a taste test, using 2 different cupcake and frosting recipes and made the colors a little more fun with alot of food coloring. The black cupcakes with meringue frosting were more popular with the kids and tasted very chocolaty. The red cupcakes with black lemon cream cheese frosting were more popular with the adults, so everyone was happy!

His Nachos by Mary Ann-serves 2 hungry guys or more if servings are smaller :)
White Corn tortilla chips
1 pd. ground sirloin
dehydrated onion
cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, oregano
jalapeno slices
sliced black olives
6 oz Velveeta cheese, cubed
3/4 cup salsa

In a skillet, heat 1 Tbls canola oil. Brown ground sirloin, breaking up with a wooden spoon. Season with onion, cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, and oregano. Cook completely and set aside.
In a microwavable bowl, combine velveeta and salsa. Melt in microwave, 30-50 seconds at a time, stirring, until completely combined and melted.
Place desired amount of chips on a plate or serving platter. Place seasoned meat on top of chips. Add jalapeno slices and sliced olives.
Drizzle warm cheese sauce over the top and Eat!

Hers' Nachos by Mary Ann-serves 5-6 adults
Multigrain Tortilla Chips with Flaxseed and Sea Salt
Spicy Blue Tortilla Chips
fat free refried beans
1 can black and pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 each, red and green pepper, diced
2 medium tomatoes, diced
shredded cheese

Preheat broiler. On a large cookie or baking sheet, layer desired amount of chips. Drop spoonfuls of refried beans over chips. Spoon beans over chips. Add bell peppers and tomatoes. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top
Broil until cheese melts and nachos are warm.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Fluffy Meringue Icing
Recipe courtesy Wes Martin (found on Food Network site)
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons red gel paste food coloring ( I used black) (See Cook's Note*)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature (I used half nonfat Greek Yogurt)
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon baking soda
Red, pink and white miniature nonpareils, for sprinkling
Meringue Icing:
5 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoons cream of tartar
Pinch fine salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 to 3 drops pure almond extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the muffin tin with pink or white cupcake liners
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder and salt.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Occasionally turn off mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Reduce the speed to low, add the eggs, 1 at a time, and mix until incorporated after each addition. Add the food coloring and vanilla and mix well.
With the mixer on low, alternately add the flour mixture and sour cream in 3 additions, beginning and ending with the flour, waiting until each addition is well incorporated before adding the next. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar and soda, and once fizzing has stopped, add to the batter and mix well.
Divide the batter evenly in the tin, filling each liner about 3/4 full. Bake until cupcakes are set and spring back when touched, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
For meringue icing: Bring a few inches of water to a gentle simmer in a saucepan large enough to hold a standing mixer bowl above the water. Whisk the egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar, and salt together in the bowl until combined. Set the bowl over the simmering water and whisk constantly until sugar is completely dissolved and mixture is smooth and hot to the touch, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to the standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat at medium-high speed until meringue is cool and holds a soft peak, 4 to 5 minutes. With the speed on low, add the vanilla and almond extracts; increase speed to medium and continue whisking until mixture is glossy and holds a stiff peak, 1 to 2 minutes more.
To decorate: Using a spoon or offset spatula, spread about 1/2 cup meringue over each cupcake and sprinkle with nonpareils. Cupcakes are best served the day they are made.
*Cook's Note: If you're unable to find gel food coloring, add drops of liquid food coloring until the desired shade of red is achieved.

Red Velvet Cupcakes from Better Homes and Gardens
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ tsp salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
¾ cup butter, at room temperature
2¼ cups granulated sugar
1½ tsp vanilla extract
1 ounce bottle of red food coloring (2 Tbsp.)
1½ cups buttermilk
1½ tsp baking soda
1½ tsp vinegar

1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.
2 In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside.
3 In a large mixing bowl, beat butter on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until combined. One at a time, add eggs; beat on medium speed after each. Beat in food coloring on low.
4 Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk to egg mixture; beat on low-medium after each just until combined. Stir together baking soda and vinegar. Add to batter; beat just until combined.
5 Fill cupcake liners two-thirds full. Bake 15 to 17 minutes, or until toothpick inserted near centers comes out clean. Cool pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Gently remove cupcakes from pans; cool.
6 Frost with lemon cream cheese icing* or dust with powdered sugar

*Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting by Mary Ann
1 stick butter, softened
6 oz cream cheese, softened
1 pd powdered sugar, sifted
juice and zest of 1/2 lemon

Beat butter and cream cheese in a large bowl until smooth and creamy. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Beat in lemon juice and lemon zest. Frost cupcakes when cool


Marie said...

Oh gosh Maryann your cupcakes and nachoes have me craving both at 8 in the morning! I love that you did reverse versions of the cupcakes. Both look YUMMO! Well done you!

Aggie said...

Mary are awesome (I think I say this every time! lol!)

I love your nachos...and I can totally relate! I will be serving those exactly the same here, my husband would love the His...and I am all over the healthy Hers! And your cupcakes are so fun!!

What a great and fun entry! I know what you mean about living in a college football town, that is how Gainesville is, it's such an experience isn't it? We try to go back for one game a year to relive it. There is nothing like Gator Football (or Dawg Football!) Great win yesterday!

Alexa said...

Your husband is one lucky guy! I'm with you and would favor your version. The cupcakes look so pretty and tasty.

The Blonde Duck said...

I think I'd have to try both kinds. Just to be sure, of course. And the cupcakes too. In fact, I'll just invite myself over and nibble on everything!

Sophie said...

I am definitely hungry after reading this post! There's nothin' better than homemade nachos...and those cupcakes! So adorable, I love the fun colors. The frosting sounds heavenly. This post features comfort food at its best :).

Audrey said...

I'm sorry we missed your UGA party. Looks delicious!

Prudy said...

Oh, heavens to mergatroid-this is one heavenly post. Cupcakes and his and her nachos? I'll take a dozen cupcakes and a large platter of her nachos for me and a huge platter of his nachos for quiet man. I'm going to have to do a BYU cupcake for the fans around here.

Jaime said...

wow, i will have to do this for danny that is his favorite- cream cheese icing on red velvet or chocolate cake! and he would LOVE the nachos/cupcakes while he watches the game, go dawgs!